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ILO Reprimands Somali Government Over Union Rights

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Tuesday June 14, 2016 - 04:11:23 in Articles by Super Admin
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    ILO Reprimands Somali Government Over Union Rights

    The struggle for respecting and recognition of independent trade unions has been brought back into the spotlight, following an objection filed against Somali government for violating ILO Constitution.

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The struggle for respecting and recognition of independent trade unions has been brought back into the spotlight, following an objection filed against Somali government for violating ILO Constitution.
 

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) presented an objection concerning the nomination of the Workers’ delegation of Somalia. The objecting organization declared that the Government had failed to comply with article 3(1) and (5) of the ILO Constitution, since it had not consulted the most representative, independent and democratic national trade union centre, the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU).

ITUC demonstrated that the government accredited as workers’ representatives individuals who are neither a genuine nor a representative workers’ organization, having been established by the Government with the intention of undermining the independent and representative workers’ organizations in the country.

In reality, one of the government nominated person is businessman in Kenya. And that the Somali Government had continued its campaign to harass and destabilize the legitimate FESTU. This situation had been reported to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association and independently documented.

The Somali Government was also accused of disregarding prior recommendations of the ILO Credentials Committee on upholding the ILO constitution and allowing independent trade unions of Somalia, led by FESTU, to play their representative roles within the ILO.

After the government failed to provide adequate and trustable answers to the ILO, the ILO approved at the 105th session of the International Labour Conference a report by its Credential Committee in which the organisation concluded "that the Government has interfered in the FESTU’s internal matters, contravening article 3(5) of the ILO Constitution”.

This is the third time Somali government is found of violating ILO Constitution by the ILO’s tripartite body.

The ILO committee established that the Somali government response on the objection presented by ITUC "is in conflict with its actions” and concluded that there is "a longstanding conflict between the Government and the FESTU’s leadership.

The ILO emphasised in its conclusions that "it is essential that the Somali public authorities refrain from any intervention in the business of trade unions and to create indispensable condition for trade unions to be able to act in full freedom from government and to promote effectively the interests of their members”.

By virtue of article 26bis (7) of the ILO Conference Standing Orders, Somali government was demanded "to submit for the next session of the Conference, at the same time that it submits its credentials for its delegation, a detailed report substantiated with relevant documentation on: (a) The names of the representative workers’ organizations in Somalia, together with figures indicating their comparative importance; and (b) Information as to which of those organizations were consulted on the designation of the Workers’ delegation, as well as the date(s) and place(s) of such consultation(s).”

"Having refused to respect unions and allow them their free space, and being busy of flouting national and international rules recurrently in order to suppress union rights, Somali government is now under inspection and must explain its credentials before any objection is presented,” said Omar Faruk Osman, General Secretary of FESTU.

"We welcome these important conclusions and we hope that the government will realise that sanity must prevail and it must not dig itself into a deeper hole” added Osman.

ENDs

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